When you hear chefs talking about total utilization, they are normally referring to fish or meat and finding ways to prepare as much of the animal as possible to reduce waste.
Chef Kenzie Allen uses this same approach with vegetables for the smoked carrot risotto at JRDN, for which she wastes no part of the locally sourced carrots.
With a natural sweetness enhanced by a hefty addition of butter, the carrot risotto at JRDN is a creamy, decadent dish whose flavor profile builds over several bites.
A roasted carrot ragu is made from the base of the carrot and the risotto is finished with a carrot top ash, which adds another layer of depth to the dish.
“I love using carrot tops,” Allen explained. “What most people don’t know is that they are just as important as the actual carrot. I love using parts of the vegetables that most people don’t think of using. It’s important to research and learn all about the ingredients you are using. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you envision, or other times, you end up with a product that you love. I’ve used carrot tops for years, so turning them into an ash fit perfectly with this rich and decadent vegetable dish and added a smoky earthiness to it.”
“I love working with local farms because you get the whole story of the ingredients you are using. A carrot isn’t just any carrot. The sweetness changes, the color changes, the texture changes. The farmers that we work with, work with us closely and know what we use certain carrots for certain dishes and we work together using the best ingredients for our menu,” Chef Allen explained, adding that the selected carrots are grown for specific flavor profiles.
Chef Allen adds charred cipollini onions from Schaner Family Farm and crispy kale from Coleman Family Farm compliment the risotto, though the carrots remain the star of this dish.
Taste the Smoked Carrot Risotto at JRDN
JRDN’s pickled and roasted beet salad with tatsoi, citrus, goat cheese, avocado, pickled fennel, candied ginger, and quinoa in a zesty yuzu-miso vinaigrette, is a nice counterpoint to the luscious dish, which paris well with a hearty wine, like a 2016 La Vitoriana from Bierzo.
Inside Tower 23, 723 Felspar Street, Pacific Beach